1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Best bike for $600-800

    Ok I had another post about a cannondale sl3 bike, but it seems most of my lbs are selling out of them as the 2012's are coming out soon. And i'm wondering if i'm being too picky.

    So i'd like some help on what is good and what is not good as far as brands go.

    Essentially the bike will be used for commuting/off-road and possibly a long bike trek (trans canada trail)

    So with that in mind, what should i get or at least look into. I do not want a FS I know i want a hardtail, the bike really does have to be light yet strong. From what i've seen so far that price range would get me all that. I appreciate it'll be a beginner or medium range bike. But i can upgrade later.

    Essentially i'm stuck, in england the brands are basically cannondale, raleigh and specialized, well when i left for the USA they where 10 years ago, now i really have no idea whats good.

    I see diamondback makes cheap to extremely expensive bikes, but are they all tainted because walmart sells them (btw no plans to buy from walmart). my last bike, last year was a diamondback recoil and it was heavier then a BBW porn star.. and was misarable to ride, which is why i stopped and why i know i have to have something light as a HT.

    I really hope i get some good suggestions as i'm planning on getting something come payday in a week or so.

    cheers.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    I also was reading up on the brand Access, anyone heard of them or how good they are?

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    any idea how heavy the rockhopper is?

  5. #5
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    scott aspect 30

  6. #6
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    I picked up a 96 Klein attitude pro w/Sid sl shock all xtr for $750, weighing 20#. If you shop around you can find light weight deals

  7. #7
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    I just picked up a 2010 Specialized FSRxc Expert with >100 miles for $800. I spent weeks looking and considered a less expensive but new bike many times. I almost got the Diamondback Recoil from Sports Authority for $389 with their 25% coupon, but glad I went with a nicer bike.

    Craigslist!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stockegsix View Post
    scott aspect 30
    just looked at that, looks like a very nice bike, great bike to consider, thanks.

    I looked at the klein, i'm really of the opinion i need or should have disc brakes.

  9. #9
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    Hope the specialized works for you, I've always been partial to Klein until they moved from centralia WA to Minnesota and Gary had no more to say about quality

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    OP - you're doing this a little backwards. There are a ton of brands of bike out there, and they won't all be carried by bike shops close enough that you want to go to them. Call your shops and find out which ones have feasible bikes for you. Then go to the ones with bikes of interest and ride them. Let us know what your favorites were.

    Otherwise you're just going to keep getting somewhat random suggestions that may not be relevant to what you can actually buy. Bear in mind that you'll need to go back to that shop for some free services associated with purchase, other services if you buy a plan when you get the bike, warranty service, etc. So it's good if it's a place that you like, although not essential.

    For light weight at that pricepoint, you need to give up something. Like a rigid bike instead of one with a heavy-ass suspension fork, or a singlespeed instead of one with a bunch of heavy-ass gears.

    Access is a Performance house brand. That can often mean a better spec for a given price, but Performance frames also get trash-talked a bit from time to time. No firsthand knowledge, so I dunno - they could be fine.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    My LBS is getting low as well on the Trails

  12. #12
    Addicted to the Ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by stockegsix View Post
    scott aspect 30
    +1 on Scott Aspect 30. Just picked one up last week and I LOVE IT! Can't go wrong for the price it's amazing

  13. #13
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    Diamond Back Response....Very heavy, but very indestructible

  14. #14
    Cheaa
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeymoseley View Post
    Diamond Back Response....Very heavy, but very indestructible
    x2 treating me well, I have the response sport. Heavy like a pig but tough

  15. #15
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    Those diamond backs are just so heavy, i was kinda looking into them, I had one last year, that was like riding a chunk of lead around.

  16. #16
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    I just bought a Cannondale SL3 recently within that price range. I highly recommend it.

    It was between this, A trek 3900/4300 or Giant Revel after riding them I jumped on the Sl3 when I found it on clearance. I was still willing to wait and save the extra hundred or two after riding it in order to get it.

  17. #17
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    Ok So i'm basically torn between these two bikes:

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/moun...ail-sl-4-16915
    or
    http://www.fezzari.com/hard-tail-cro...try/lone-peak/

    I was originally going for an SL3 but the wife doesn't think i NEED to spend that much, what does she know

    Both bikes have some componants that are better than the other and some which are worth less.

    Which one seems better to you guys?

  18. #18
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Did you ride the Cannondale? Did you like it?

    IMHO, better to buy local for a first bike, or a return after a long break.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
    I Love My Bicycle
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    If I was forced to ride anything but a FS bike the SL3 seemed like a good bike. My lbs has a black one for 550. best value i've found yet.
    2010 Cannondale Moto 2 Carbon
    2010 Evolution X 565hp/535tq

  20. #20
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    $550 that sucks... too far to go get that one, what a good price.

  21. #21
    I Love My Bicycle
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldollard View Post
    $550 that sucks... too far to go get that one, what a good price.
    I was looking at a spare set of wheels for my moto and figured buy the sl3 for less than a set of wheels and now I have a loaner/beater.
    2010 Cannondale Moto 2 Carbon
    2010 Evolution X 565hp/535tq

  22. #22
    the truth
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    kona nunu great bike my friend just got one it is sweet.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stunt4Life View Post
    I was looking at a spare set of wheels for my moto and figured buy the sl3 for less than a set of wheels and now I have a loaner/beater.
    someone has a lot of money to waste

  24. #24
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    I would suggest sending you to bikesdirect, I almost purchased the 700DS for $599.00 but I read up a lot on mtn bikes and two weeks later I ordered a $2000 bike lol, So don't go there, keep your bank account safe.

  25. #25
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    GT Avalanche 2.0 can be had for like $750 @ performance, they have '10 models for $599.

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